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Hundreds Attend War Memorial Ceremony

The event, held on Friday, Oct. 16, honored Aztecs who have died during military conflict.
The annual War Memorial Ceremony pays tribute to Aztecs who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
The annual War Memorial Ceremony pays tribute to Aztecs who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

More than 200 SDSU alumni, students, faculty and staff attended the Friday, Oct. 16 War Memorial ceremony at Aztec Green. It was the largest gathering in years for the annual event.

Paying tribute to fallen Aztecs

The War Memorial ceremony is a longstanding campus tradition paying tribute to Aztecs who died in service during conflicts involving the United States military. Previously, it had been held on homecoming Saturday each year since the monument was dedicated in 1996.

“With this year’s ceremony on Friday, we had more ROTC and Student Veterans Organization members who could come,” said SDSU Alumni Association Programs Director Cheryl Trtan. “We’ll definitely try to keep it scheduled on a weekday in the future.” 

Honoring an alumnae

This year’s ceremony included a special tribute to Navy Lt. Florence Bacong Choe (’01), a wife, mother and master’s degree holder from SDSU’s College of Health and Human Services. She was killed March 27 while serving as a medical administration and logistics mentor to the Afghan National Army in northern Afghanistan.

Choe is the first woman to be honored during the annual ceremony. Members of Choe’s family were in the audience Friday.

This year's speakers

Speakers included:

  • Former California governor, U.S. senator and San Diego mayor Pete Wilson
  • SDSU President Stephen L. Weber
  • United States Air Force 2d Lt Leanne Babcock (’08)
  • SDSU Student Veteran Organization President Peter Salas, USMC
  • SDSU Associated Students President Tyler Boden

In addition to a traditional wreath-laying ceremony, this year’s event also featured a fly-over by a C-17 Globemaster III. The plane was developed for the Air Force in the 1980s as a military transport aircraft.

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